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Project leaders looking for community support

New View Society of Port Coquitlam and City of Port Moody have entered the Aviva Community Fund contest
New View
Evan Dear, mental health facilitator, and Chantelle Burga, New View clubhouse manager, with posters encouraging people to vote in the Aviva Community Fund contest for the New View Society's People Encouraging Everyone's Recovery progra

New View Society wants to start a program that would help people with mental illness get services and is looking to an online contest for funding.

The city of Port Moody is also seeking votes for its pet project — a new playground for Rocky Point Park.

Both organizations are contestants in the annual Aviva Community Fund contest that will award prizes up to $100,000 to 15 finalists in December.

But while one organization is a non-profit with limited means, the other is a government with access to taxpayer funds and city staff at its disposal to organize its submission.

The competition rules allow cities to participate and dozens do for money to build playgrounds, said PoMo Coun. Diana Dilworth, who chairs the city's parks and recreation commission, which approved the contest bid as a possible new source of funding.

But the mayor of Port Moody isn't sure why the city is competing with non-profits and why a 10-year-old playground needs to be replaced so soon.

"We are competing with people who are existing on grants and donations," said Clay, who said he only found out about the city's submission on Facebook Monday.

New View says the contest is important to get $100,000 in funding to hire people coping with mental illness who can reach out to others in similar situations. They would organize activities and recreational programs, provide education and other support.

"We think peer support workers would be able to connect with people in the community," said Chantelle Burga, New View's clubhouse manager.

She said studies have shown that people who have experienced mental illness are in the best place to help other people navigate the health system.

"The goal is to decrease isolation, hospitalizations and suicides," Burga told The Tri-City News.

The city, meanwhile, is concerned that its Rocky Point Park playground built in 2006 is rotting and funds are needed to build a new $250,000 structure that children of all ages and abilities could use.

"It's a super park, completely inclusive," said PoMo's Coun. Dilworth.

People can vote for their favourite projects at The voting ends Oct. 28 and people can cast up to 18 votes for a variety of projects across the country.

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